CHAIRMAN Eddie Mitchell has hailed as a “great coup” the impending arrival of two-times Russian champions Lokomotiv Moscow to Dean Court.

Cherries could get a chance to pit their wits against the Russian giants during the £150,000 EC Group Cup at Dean Court later this month.

Mitchell has established close links with the EC Group, both through his private business interests and in his capacity as Cherries chairman.

The company is stumping up around £250,000 to sponsor the four-team EC Group Cup, which takes place at Dean Court on July 16 and 17.

Lokomotiv Moscow and German third-flight outfit FC Saarbrucken have both received sponsors’ invites and will be joined in the tournament by Cherries and the Glenn Hoddle Academy.

Mitchell, who confirmed the EC Group would also be paying all expenses for the competition, told the Daily Echo: “It is a fantastic achievement for the club to be able to draw one of the top clubs from Russia.

“It is a statement of where we are trying to go.

“It will be a great event. We need the support so we can make it an annual event and bring in bigger teams each season.

“It is a great coup for a club of our size to have a sponsor which is prepared to put in around £250,000. The company must believe in what we are doing.

“It is a great opportunity for our supporters to watch some good, |competitive football early in the season.”

Mitchell, who spent a fortnight in Russia earlier this year, added: “I have some close ties with the Russian company that is sponsoring the tournament and they are more than pleased to support the club by putting up the money.

“I have been to the EC Group’s headquarters and have seen how they operate.

“They have an 800-strong workforce within Russia and other operations elsewhere.

“It is a fantastic set up.

“The country is full of football fanatics and it is great Lokomotiv Moscow are enthusiastic about bringing a side here.”

Cherries will kick off the EC Group Cup against the Glenn Hoddle Academy at Dean Court on Saturday, July 16 (1pm) before Lokomotiv Moscow take on Saarbrucken (3.30pm).

A third and fourth place play-off will take place at Dean Court on Sunday, July 17 (1pm) with the final being staged at 3.30pm.